Have you ever made a choice not to do something because you knew in your gut that it would overwhelm or exhaust you?
Maybe you decided to stay home instead of traveling, going to see family, or going out with friends.
Perhaps you chose to say “no thanks” to an invitation to a wedding or party.
Maybe you declined an offer to work on a project that seemed really exciting.
Or maybe you knew you shouldn’t accept that new job offer because its fast-paced nature would just be too much to handle.
You were honoring your sensitivity
Made intentionally, all of these decisions are examples of honoring your sensitivity by acknowledging the truth of how much capacity you had at the time.
As HSPs, we are often walking a fine line between our ideal amount of stimulation and too much stimulation – otherwise known as overwhelm. Due to our super finely tuned nervous systems, we are much more prone to overwhelm than non-HSPs.
So, when we can honor this reality, and choose to put our own needs first, we are giving ourselves an amazing gift!
And, at the same time, there may be feelings of grief that accompany these decisions. Missing an event, not seeing people you care about, or letting an opportunity pass by…even when we consciously choose this, we’re still letting something go.
Choosing can be difficult
The more we have to lose in a situation, the harder the choice becomes. It can feel so hard to choose not to do something that a part of you genuinely might want to do.
So what can I do?
Even if you made the decision yourself, we can acknowledge the grief we feel after making a choice. Take the time to acknowledgewhat you gave up. This could sound like, “a part of me is really sad to be missing Christmas at home with the whole family this year.” Or, “I am disappointed that I won’t be accepting that job because parts of it sounded really fun and exciting.”
Another tip: allow yourself to feel this emotion without adding on a negating phrase, like “but it’s still better this way,” or “but I shouldn’t really dwell on this because it was the right choice.” Just simply let yourself feel the loss. It deserves your loving attention! By acknowledging it, you’re honoring the grief you feel.
Both can be true at once
Also, remember that nothing in this world is completely black and white. You are allowed to feel confident in your decision AND sad to be missing out. You can feel happy to be staying home AND grief that you didn’t get to spend time with a friend. You can be proud of yourself for holding a healthy boundary AND grieve that you’re giving something else up in the process.
As time continues to move on, I think you’ll find that you’ve allowed these emotions to move through in a healthy way. Hopefully, by doing this practice you’ll look back on your choices with compassion for yourself, and with less self-judgment or regret!
And just remember, we’re walking here alongside you as you continue the journey of being a highly sensitive person in an often insensitive world!